OK. So you’re on the verge. Of surrendering all the coping mechanisms you’ve ever relied on. [Full stop after ‘verge’ is significant.] All the stuff and guff of your environment – your behaviour and all the interpersonal relationships that you believe define you – are clinging on for dear life. And about to lose their stranglehold grip.
Except they don’t. At least not just yet. They’ve just been there to defend you. They think they’re saving you. But really they’re strangling you.
Having a life crisis, where you feel the entire planet is conspiring against you, is really an opportunity for you to realise this. The crisis creats porous entry points in your psyche for your real stuff to sneak in. Often before you’re ready for it. To catch you out. It has to create the opportunities it can, because you’ve been denying and dancing around the truth for decades. Tough, huh?
However, it can take some time to tune into what those signs are. They may have to really poke you in the nose before you spot them. Some people spend a lifetime oblivious to them. But there’s something about being able to spot the signs nudging you soul.
Here are three of mine from today:
i) I go to my nearest church at lunchtime for some meditation time, hoping I can get a peaceful perspective on a current issue. I trust that the message will come through. Except what nudges me out of my peace is someone clearing up at the front of the church, beside the altar. She is the lady appointed to sort out the Sacristy before and after Mass, I’m sure. But what she flings onto the floor is a pile of old cardboard boxes, squished down and devoid of any of their meaning. No longer a container for my stuff. 1st message: clear out all the clutter. Give up all your old containers and flatten what you thought sustained you. It’s all cardboard anyway.
ii) There have been some strange smells in London today. Every time a van or lorry has passed me, it’s left a wake of stinky binny repulsive stench that has assaulted my nostrils and made me want to wretch. 2nd message: Don’t hold on to stuff that is stinkily past its sell-by date. It’s gross, and it leaves a whiff of something vulgar around you. Really, your essence is more fragrant than a bin lorry.
iii) This is the hardest one. Maybe for me it takes the third thing to make it real. As a journalist, it was always the third source that made a story a goer. So, here goes. My daughter wants me to read her something she doesn’t understand (like Freud or Jung) so it’s so boring she goes to sleep. I pick up the book nearest to me and it turns out to be Until Today by Iyanla Vanzant. She’s talking about recognising the root of a problem and, instead of enduring its symptoms or blaming something else for your condition, step out yourself and take charge of your own roots. Rip ’em out if they don’t serve you (even though psychological roots can be hard to locate).
When all these kind of messages come rattling towards the ego, how can it possibly resist being overcome by the Soul?